YAC CEO Appointment Announcement
The Youth Advocacy Centre is pleased to announce the appointment of Katherine Hayes as CEO.
Katherine’s appointment was made following outgoing CEO Katie Acheson’s decision to step down due to family reasons.
YAC’s Management Committee regrettably accepted Katie’s resignation, acknowledging with gratitude the immense contribution Katie made to YAC during her tenure.
Katie’s experience, leadership, and energy has left YAC in a superb position to continue to expand our support of and advocacy for young people in Queensland. Katie will be sorely missed.
YAC is very pleased to have someone of Katherine’s calibre stepping into the role who will lead with integrity, expertise, and compassion.
Katherine has been a member of YAC’s volunteer Management Committee since 2020. During this time, she has provided invaluable guidance to the organisation throughout the COVID pandemic and into a new period of growth.
Most recently an award-winning Partner at a respected Australian law firm, Katherine has over 20 years post admission experience in litigation and insurance law.
Katherine’s previous experience include roles in a top tier international firm, and assistant in-house Legal Counsel for a Lloyd’s managing agent in London. Katherine has been recognised by Best Lawyers Australia 2022, 2021 and 2020 editions in the field of Professional Malpractice Litigation and has also been recognised as a Leading Queensland Professional Indemnity Lawyer in Doyle’s Guide.
Katherine’s experience and expertise mean she is well positioned to lead YAC, who were one of the first Community Legal Centres in Queensland.
Katherine is fiercely passionate about and committed to supporting young people and advocating for their rights in youth justice issues and policy. She has demonstrated this through her voluntary contribution in YAC’s Management Committee, and by participating in practical support activities for young Queenslanders involved in the child protection system over many years.
Katherine appointment at YAC comes at an exciting time as we continue to expand our services, such as our first specialty Domestic Violence Lawyer role that has recently commenced. This comes in addition to our multi-disciplinary services for young people including legal, bail, family, and homelessness support, as well as Community Legal Education.
YAC’s advocacy work is also extremely relevant with urgent progress still required in Queensland to uphold the rights of young people throughout the justice system process.
Growing community support for system reforms such as raising the age of criminal responsibility and reviewing how our youth justice system fails in caring for young people showcases the importance of continued public advocacy. As a multi-disciplinary legal and social welfare organisation, YAC is strongly positioned to lead that advocacy.
We enthusiastically welcome Katherine to the YAC team.
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